I’m excited to announce I have a new article, Animal Instinct, published in Creative Machine Embroidery, September/October 2015 issue. The six page article covers the steps to create an embroidery technique I created, called Ghost embroidery.
Anyone in the Atlanta area, you are invited to the Atlanta Chapter of the American Sewing Guild Fall Fashion Show. September is National Sewing month and we are celebrating in style. Anthony Williams from Project Runway is our guest MC. All the fashions are made by ASG members, students, and future designers. I am currently working on a fabulous outfit to model and I will blog about it in the future. For tickets go to this Atlanta Sewing Guild link. The deadline to purchase tickets is this Friday, August 29.
I hope to see you there.
One day at Gail K’s, I was shopping for fabric to make a prototype for one of my husband’s inventions, I found this beautiful red tone on tone silk. I love silk so I just had to have it, my immediate thought was to make a simple sheath dress, and this is what I came up with.
Not too long ago a friend from ASG sent out an email about a free downloadable pattern from Marfy Patterns. I had never heard of them before so I thought I would check them out, who doesn’t like something that is free. Right? On the website there were three free patterns, a top, skirt and jacket. I felt like I had hit the mother load. LOL I downloaded all three of them and decided to make the cute top. In this article I will show you the steps in how to tape the downloaded pattern together, because there definitely were some challenges that I will explain. I will show you the solutions I came up with, and the link to the free patterns, if they are still available when you read this.
What I have learned about Marfy from their website is that they are an Italian pattern making company. They hand make each pattern and are known for their workmanship, styles and precision. Find out more about them here. I personally can’t wait to try one of their actual patterns (not a downloadable one). Their styles are fabulous!!!
I think the reason most people give up on sewing fashions for themselves is because of fit. Fitting yourself can be quite a challenge, especially if you don’t have someone to help you pin, measure, take a tuck in, etc. To be honest it can be quite a hassle, depressing and a very long process. But if you would take the time to get that perfect or almost perfect fit it can be so rewarding. It makes you feel and look great in your well fitted outfit, much better than a store bought fashion. Also the more you fit yourself, the easier it becomes, then the more enjoyable the sewing process will become.
In this article I am going to show you some of the steps I took to alter the jacket pattern for my Reversible Jacket. We are all made of different shapes and sizes, so I know you won’t have the exact altering issues that I have, but I hope you can learn from these examples and apply them in some sort of way. Example, if I had to add to a curve, you might have to take away from a curve. Same basic process, I add and you subtract, basic math and geometry.
About 25 years ago I found a vintage Forstmann 100% wool bouclé jacket that was my husband’s grandmother’s. It was about to be thrown away and I saved it. I had it cleaned and I wore it a couple times, and it inspired me to want to make a more modern version of the jacket. It took 25 years but I finally made one.
One day while fabric shopping for another project, this beautiful synthetic faux Persian lamb jumped out at me. It came in three colors, and I fell in love with two of them. I couldn’t make my mind up which was the prettiest, so I thought, why not make a reversible jacket, then I can have them both. Here is the process in making this extremely soft and comfortable jacket.
When I went to the fabric store I didn’t set out to get yarn to make another scarf, but this Red Heart Ribbon Yarn was sitting on an end counter (great marketing) and when I looked at it I thought, wow, I think that can be knitted like the ruffled scarf I made.
I bought a couple colors and in a few hours I had two beautiful scarves.
Here are a few tips I learned. (Not step by step instructions.) Continue reading
Boo Hoo, my grandaughter Angelica is a senior in high school. That means it is my last year to make her a prom dress; therefore, it has to be spectacular. This article is all about her prom dress I designed and made. It is full of pictures showing some of the sewing processes, the thought processes, and many couture details of the dress. I hope you enjoy the beauty of the dress as much as I enjoyed creating it. Continue reading
I have been busy, busy, busy sewing. I have so many projects going on at one time my head is spinning. I have been drafting pants, sewing service projects, making prototypes for my husband (he is an inventor), preparing to teach classes, going to American Sewing Guild meetings and events, and most of all I am in the midst of making the most exquisite prom dress for my grandaughter. I hope to be able to share the prom dress with you in a couple of weeks. I didn’t have any patterns for this new design so I have been really working my brain. The dress is almost done, I have a couple more fittings with her before I can add the embellishments. I am hand sewing all the embellishments on (no glue for me). Just the sleeve alone took 25 hours to make. I can’t wait to share it with you. Continue reading
Lace can be very elegant for wedding gowns, lingerie, evening wear, or it can be dressed down. Lace can be mixed with all types of fabric including velvet, denim or leather. It can be made with cotton, silk or wire. I don’t care what it is made of as long as it is lace. Ahh, Lace!
Lace is romantic, provocative and sexy. Lace can be the whole garment, appliquéd on, as a decorative accent, or it can just peek through. It can be plain, simple or embellished with beads, sequins or feathers. It can be country, victorian or royalty. Lace can be sweet, demure and innocent.
I think lace is the most versatile fabric there is, because there are so many options on how to use it.
If I had to describe myself in the use of fabric I would probably describe myself as a piece of French silk lace hand embellished with exquisite beads and sparkling gems.
Fabric speaks to me, LOL. Sometimes I have an idea and I search for fabric, other times fabric jumps out at me and inspires me or challenges me to come up with a design just for it. That’s what happened with this fabric.
I don’t know what the fabric is called, or what it is made out of, it was a remnant I bought many years ago at an American Sewing Guild event.
The fabric is very soft, kind of spongy, stretches, and has a unique gimp looking pattern. When I looked at it, I thought hand cut fringe. I decided on making a coat out of it that would allow it to flow as I walked.
When I wear this coat, sometimes for special occasions and sometimes with jeans, I get a lot of compliments on it from people I don’t even know, asking where I purchased it. To me, that is one of the greatest compliments a seamstress can get.
In this gallery article I want to give you a little preview of some of the things that I will be blogging about throughout the years. I will not limit us to only these creations, they will be filling in, between other new designs, ideas, organization, and thoughts I have along our journey.
I love to sew and I tend to sometimes think outside the box. I like to push myself to try to out do my last project. I also like to just make something easy and simple, kind of like cleansing my sewing pallet. I am not in competition with others but with myself.
I love the appreciation and admiration that the sewing community have for each other’s talents. We are all at different levels and we all have a different flare for fashion, but yet we all inspire and help each other “grow” our sewing skills and our confidence in our sewing and confidence to wear our creations. I hope I can be an inspiration to you.
Let’s have some fun together creating! Remember to laugh at your learning mistakes, making them into a creative challenge, and to dance at your victories and throughout the sewing process.
I had a great opportunity last weekend to participate in a Gail Patrice Yellen Workshop, sponsored by the Atlanta Chapter of the American Sewing Guild. What a fun time I had. Gail is very talented, fun, knowledgeable, and she was very well prepared.
Friday night was a trunk show where she showed us her beautiful embellished fashions. Saturday, was a full day of serger techniques, and Sunday was a hands on day where she shared some of her unique techniques while we made samples.
Here is a picture of her felted skirt made from sweaters. I love, love, love this skirt; I am on the lookout for some sweaters now so I can make one too. I also took pictures of some of her other embellished skirts that I will share with you.
One thing I like about sewing is being inspired by others. At American Sewing Guild meetings we have what we call Show N Tell, where members bring in things they have been sewing. At my last meeting one of the members brought in a beautiful ruffled scarf that she had crocheted.
It really inspired me and I do not even know how to crochet, I thought, I can do this. ( Now my mom has done some incredible crocheted masterpieces that I will share some other time. They need to be in a museum )
There is a video by Maggie Weldon called Crocheted Ruffled Scarf on You Tube that shows you step by step how to make this scarf. It is very informative and she gives some great tips, especially for someone that doesn’t even know how to crochet.
First, I had her email me some pictures of dresses that she liked, then I looked through patterns, vintage and new, to see what I could start with to create our custom design. She wanted something above the knee, with a full gathered skirt that would stand out, corset style top, and of course sparkles. Continue reading
From time to time I will post pictures of fabric and trims that inspire me. Some fabrics will be from my stash and some will be from stores. When the fabrics are from stores I will post where they can be purchased.
Check out the Fabric Gallery from time to time for new updates.
I always have some type of a Sewing Assistant helping me. They help me pin by holding the fabric down, they help me move the fabric by jumping up with a running start and then sliding the fabric in place. I especially like it when they add extra holes to the pattern paper. I do have to watch one of them carefully so she doesn’t get hurt, because she likes to take the pins out of the fabric. They do give me such pleasure, even when they become a sewing challenge instead of an assistant.